Effect of illness on disparity of force

Effect of illness on disparity of force

This is a discussion on Effect of illness on disparity of force within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm just getting over something. . . a cold, bad allergies, something. Yesterday I got to thinking of how it was affecting my energy levels, ...

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Thread: Effect of illness on disparity of force

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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Effect of illness on disparity of force

    I'm just getting over something. . . a cold, bad allergies, something. Yesterday I got to thinking of how it was affecting my energy levels, as I'm moving next week and I'm way behind on my packing because I simply haven't had the energy or strength.

    I'm not a skilled fighter. I carry regularly, but haven't had the unarmed combat training I really should have. OTOH, I'm 6'3", 240 squishy pounds. I probably look way more intimidating than my skills reflect. I've always wondered if I would have an issue in court justifying a defensive shoot on disparity of force grounds if I'm forced to shoot someone smaller than me, but with more fighting abilities, and that's when I'm at 100%.

    What I'm wondering is how is being weakened by being sick would affect that. If you end up having to go to court to defend your actions, it will be long enough after the fact that any illness will be long gone.

    I'm discounting injuries here because if you're injured significantly enough to weaken you that far, there will most likely be medical documentation. But how often does your average person get nailed by the latest flu, cold, or other crud going around where you just hole up at home and sleep? If you go to the local Walgreens to buy nyquil, and someone mugs you on your way to your car, how does your weakened state change things?


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    I don't think a DA is going to consider a cold/flu/ or other type bug that has you down as disparity of force. If your forced to use your gun, you had better be prepared to justify the shooting.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    What ever a lawyer can convince a jury of. That's where they earn their money. It's what the jury believes when they adjourn to deliberate.

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    I would think that a serious shot of adrenaline would temporarily suspend much of the meh-inducing things from a head cold or allergies. You won't be 100%, but your body goes into complete fight or flight mode... it doesn't care about pain, sniffles, or sinus symptoms.

    But if oyu had a serious illness, it could factor in - but you had better be prepared to prove it.

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    I have a huge physical disability,walk with a cane,strong wind can knock me off balance,there is no reason for anybody to physically come at me,and If they do It is because it is an offensive attack,not defensive.Somebody at a normal walk can leave me in the dust,but I cannot move fast enough to create any distance between me and a threat,so I can very easily prove self defense in some situations that a healthy person my age may get charges filed
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    Go ahead, convince the jury you had to shoot someone because your hay fever was acting up. Good luck with that...
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Go ahead, convince the jury you had to shoot someone because your hay fever was acting up. Good luck with that...
    I was just thinking that a smaller/weaker attacker would be a serious threat than on a normal day, the same 'last resort' considerations apply. If you're to the point that "disparity of force" is an actual consideration, you have already exhausted all of your options for diplomacy and escape. And, an attacker with a weapon also negates the question.

    Maybe it's a dumb question. . . but not long ago there was a discussion about carrying and defense when taking prescription pain meds, and that coupled with how weak I was the other day got me thinking about it. And I was thinking of being sicker than normal "hay fever".

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I think the key to your particular question is the ability to articulate your condition, backed up by expert medical testimony related to same.
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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I think the key to your particular question is the ability to articulate your condition, backed up by expert medical testimony related to same.
    Hmm. . . maybe that's a case where it would be prudent to request medical attention before making a statement. . . at least one could get some documentation if you hadn't been to the doctor for your illness prior to the incident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire9880 View Post
    Hmm. . . maybe that's a case where it would be prudent to request medical attention before making a statement. . . at least one could get some documentation if you hadn't been to the doctor for your illness prior to the incident.
    That is a very good idea. I'd say you would have a much better chance of using your illness in court if you went right to a doctor, before talking to police.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    I understand disparity of force but, at least in SC, the "presumption of imminent death or great bodily injury" is the yardstick IMO. Sick, crippled, wheelchair--if I were on a jury and that is all you got and the presumption statement above cannot be explained or met, I would have a hard time appreciating your presentation of a firearm or the use of the firearm. I surely understand this situation but somewhere in the equation your life has had to have been in danger--I am not expectng you to be able to run from the threat due to your physical problems but the presumption had better be there and explainable by witnesses and/or yourself.

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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    To me these deadly force 'what ifs' always boil down to the same old rule of thumb. Can you articulate that a reasonable man would have serious grounds to believe that he was in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury?

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I think the important factor is that the level of threat that will constitute a reasonable fear of GBI or death will vary with the individual based on their physical vulnerabilities and capabilities. Therefore, the introduction of a higher level of force, sooner, or at what would normally be a lower threat level, may be justified.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    That is a very good idea. I'd say you would have a much better chance of using your illness in court if you went right to a doctor, before talking to police.
    Which is what you should request anyway...
    "Officer, the man on the ground over there with the knife in his hand tried to rob my wife and I. I feared for my life and shot to stop that threat. I will be glad to answer any other questions you have, but right now I'm not feeling very well and I would like to go to the hospital to be seen by a doctor."
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Which is what you should request anyway...
    "Officer, the man on the ground over there with the knife in his hand tried to rob my wife and I. I feared for my life and shot to stop that threat. I will be glad to answer any other questions you have, but right now I'm not feeling very well and I would like to go to the hospital to be seen by a doctor."
    these are the words, the fewer the better. remember that the LEO's are observing you and will write down all that you say and do; how you appear to them also. and ask for an ambulance; this places you as quickly as possible away from the officers and their questions. actually, ask for 2 ambulances when you call 911 or with 1st contact with the law. one is for 'him' ( show your a compassionate human being). and ask that he be arrested for ~assault and battery for starters.

    as for hay fever...even that may reduce your awayness (SA) and thus open the door for the BG to think you are a mark.
    pain meds...keep the most recent paper from the pharmacy in your wallet but do not talk about it. remember, you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive and have already told them you are willing to talk, just not now.

    when you are off your game, that is the time you must be thinking more:
    where am i going
    why am i going there...perhaps it can be done tomorrow
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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